Sunday, 13 November 2016

November 12, 2016

215/1800) Home:  Remembrance Red by Royal City Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2;  5%, 25 ibu;  unfiltered;  pours reddish brown;   very malty nose;  malt, mild spice, minerally notes; a tiny bit nondescript but it seems like it would goes well with food; one dollar from the sale of each bottle goes to Wounded Warriers;

Had I remembered that the next two Remembrance Days are going to be on weekends I might have taken the opportunity to attend the ceremony at Fort York again but after the Brampton ceremony I went to Tracks (which is why this one wasn't consumed on the 11th) and ran into an acquaintance who had served in both the Navy and the Army.  This may not be as rare as I might have imagined as there is another regular with a similar resume.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

November 9, 2016

213/1798) Home:  Schadenfreude Pumpkin Oktoberfest by Parallel 49 of British Columbia:  **;  5%;  brewed with Munich and Pilsner hops, pumpkin;  mild pumpkin nose;  pumpkin flavours and malt with pumpkin pie spices, especially towards the finish;

214/1799) Home:  Ball's Falls Session IPA by Bench Brewing Company of Ontario:  **1/2;  4.5%;  "crafted in the escarpment" (Beamsville to be precise);  brewed with barley and wheat;  wonderful citrusy nose;  citrusy, nearly floral flavours with a very mildly dry finish;  .

My wife had tried this before me and she was crazy about it.  The cashier at the LCBO knew and liked Ball's Falls though she expressed the hope the beer wasn't brewed with the water from the falls.

November 8, 2016

211/1796)  Home:  Rambler IPA by Goose Island Beer Co. of Ontario:  **;  6.7%;  brewed with barley and wheat;  nose of green tea and pine;  peach, pine flavours;

212/1797) Home:  Dunkel Fester by Wychwood Brewery of England:  **;  4.4%;  the label reads, "disturbingly dark" and "'tis the season of mischief";  brewed with barley, wheat, oats;  very English malty nose;  nutty flavours with a hint of fruit at the finish;

November 6, 2016

210/1795) Rainhard Brewing Company:  Hearts Collide Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout:  **1/2;  11%, 90 ibu;  the nose is bitter cherries, alcohol, dark coffee;  notes of vanilla and bourbon but it's not so sweet as these can often be;  alcohol and vanilla finish;

It turns out that the first Saturday of November is Learn To Brew Day and Rainhard was hosting this opportunity to meet home brewers and ask questions of them.  This is very well timed for me.  I learned that it is not a bad thing that the contents of my growler were very murky and neither is it bad that the bowl of sanitized water at the end of my blow-off tube was pretty cloudy as well.  It simply means that my yeast is fermenting very vigorously.

Everyone there was using those five gallon pots that I have seen being used to deep fry turkeys.  The big advantage is temperature control is a lot easier than it is using a stove top as I did.

November 5, 2016

209/1794) Frankenstout Session Stout by Block Three Brewing Co. of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.0% - again, I am prompted to question the concept of a 5% 'session' stout;  mocha, mild roasted malt nose;  the flavours are a bit washed out -  sweet mocha, chocolate;

With so many exceptional stouts out there this suffers in comparison.

November 3, 2016

207/1792) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Helga's Shameful Birthday Surprise by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **1/2;  a Thursday cask;  brewed with cherries, cocoa, vanilla;  very dark;  sweet chocolate nose, almost like Nestle's Quik from in the day;  cherries are largely absent until the close;  strong, sweet chocolate and vanilla flavours;

I am reminded of Aphrodite but this one is sweeter.  Maybe Young;s Double Chocolate Stout (on draught) is closer.

208/1793) Home:  Lawrence of Arabica by Amager Bryghus of Denmark:  **;  a 7% coffee orange porter;  brewed with coffee beans and orange zest;  the nose is dark coffee with a hint of orange zest;  mostly dark, dark coffee favours;

Maybe all the good names for beers aren't taken after all.

Today is International Stout Day.

October 30, 2016

I sense a disaster in the works but the confluence of an Indigo Chapters gift card, free shipping and the offer of saving five dollars pushed me off the fence and I have purchased the highly recommended for beginners Brooklyn Brew Shop home brewing kit.  I felt the need to buy another stock pot and a bigger funnel and strainer as well.  Some day when I am in a frivolous mood I will calculate how much my first batch of beer has cost me per bottle.

An immediate benefit is that I have a fair bit of spent grain which I have dried and stored.  I have already baked a batch of spent grain and cheddar scones which have gone over well at home, save for with my daughter who finds anything remotely related to beer most revolting.  A couple of weeks ago I purchased a loaf of bread at the Montgomery's Inn Wednesday afternoon farmers' market which was made with spent grain from Black Creek's historic brewery.  I thought it was pretty terrific and I will definitely be searching for a recipe.

I bought the Everyday IPA kit.  It makes a gallon so if things go astray I won't be looking at too much bad beer.  I stuck to the rules the first time out but I plan to start clearing out the freezer and incorporating the hops I have been growing in my back yard.

Bottling is scheduled for mid-November.

October 29, 2016

205/1790) Great Lakes Brewery:  Swamp Juice #31 by Great Lakes Brewery of Canada:  **;  this one is a blend of Canuck Pale,  Karma Citra and 666 Devil's Pale Ale (which has quietly returned to the lineup);  pours a hazy burnt orange colour   it's maltier than GLB's swamp juice usually is;  a blend of hops to the nose;  malty and citrusy;

206/1791) Home:  Across The Pond English Special Ale by High Park Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.5%, 42 ibu;  sweet malty brown ale nose;  an odd one - it's a lot like an ESB but with prominent dry hop bitterness in the European pilsner style, especially towards the finish;

The name is double-barreled.  High Park in Toronto is an enormous park inside the city.  It is popular with runners and cyclists who get a real workout from all those hills and Grenadier Pond is a prominent feature.  It's quite a bit larger than a pond, some 14.2 hectares or 35 acres if you prefer.  It is also a popular spot for skating, in defiance of a recent by-law.  I confess to being a scoff-law in that regard.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

October 25, 2016

204/1789) Home:  Tales From The Pumpkin Patch Pumpkin Porter by Big Rig of Ontario:  ***;  5.5%;  brewed with the usual four ingredients plus oats, pumpkin, lactose and "spices";  the tin reads, "It's like homemade pumpkin pie with whipped cream but better, because it's beer.";  chocolate coloured;  the nose is a blend of bubble gum, whipped cream, vanilla bean, cream soda, spices;  not a whole lot of pumpkin here but there are a whole lot of spices, especially cinnamon and nutme; also notes of root beer, vanilla;

I am crazy abut this one even if there isn't much porter or pumpkin involved.

The can is supposed to glow in the dark but it doesn't seem to be working for me,  Back in the day, Dead Guy Ale by Rogue had a glow in the dark bottle which actually did glow in the dark which was very cool.

October 23, 2016

I should be getting the word out about a new Kickstarter campaign for what is described as a "beer tasting tool for anyone who enjoys good beer" called Palate Deck.  It is designed by certified Cicerone and BJCP certified beer judge David Shea.

The campaign and a description can be found here:  Palate Deck Kickstarter

There is also more information here:

I'm in.

October 22, 2016

203/1788) Home:  Wild North Series Pumpkin Ale by Lake of Bays of Ontario:  **;  6%;  brewed with Magnum and Fuggles hops, pumpkin, "autumn spice", vanilla;  "partially filtered";  vanilla is a nice touch;  nose is all pumpkin;  tastes of pumpkin with spice, and vanilla appearing towards finish;

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

October 21, 2016

Rather an interesting event, or better put, an interestingly promoted event being put on by the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies.  Allow me to quote:  "Tickets to this festival are open to women:  if you identify as a woman, we will welcome you.  The SOBDL is an inclusive environment!"

How positively Orwellian to assert that exclusion is inclusive.  The main stream media, true to form, has taken the role of stenographers over that of journalists on the topic.  

I don't think one gets away with this sort of fashionable hate far from The Six (which I understand means six suburbs in search of a city).

I shall wait until I see a beer list before deciding if I identify as a woman, in the manner of David Menzies.  Please see  David Menzies Becomes A Woman

October 20, 2016

202/1787) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Somewhere Between Barry Gibb and the Midnight Blonde by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **1/2;  on cask;  brewed with lime peel, Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin hops;  fresh, strong Cabernet Sauvignon nose;  wine notes with a refreshing citrusy lime finish;

October 15, 2016

201/1786) Sonnenhof German Canadian Association, Brantford:  Spaten M√ľnchen by Beck and Co. of Germany:  *1/2;  5.2%;  very malty, very German;  this was from a tin;

We were in town for a wedding.  Interesting location for a Ricardian.  The club is located on Henry Street, where Stanley Street turns into Bosworth Court.

For non-Ricardians I will explain that Henry Beaufort defeated King Richard III at Bosworth Field.  Lord Stanley stayed out of the battle until he was sure which way the wind was blowing and entered in time to take as much credit as he could.

October 14, 2016

200/1785) Home:  Red Racer Spiced Pumpkin Ale by Central City Brewing of British Columbia:  **;  5%, 40 ibu;  brewed with Pumpkin and spices;  sweet, spiced nose;  notes of caramel and toffee;  the pumpkin is over shadowed by the spices;

The pumpkin beers have been on the shelves since the end of August but this is my first "new" one.

A old favourite has returned in a new bottle:

October 13, 2016

199/1784) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Bloody Ale by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **;  6.3%, 30 ibu;  a Hallowe'en ale brewed not with pumpkin but with beets;  the barmaid described it as a lot like their Amber but spicier;  malty, yeasty nose with a hint of spice;  notes of yeast, star anise, earthy root and spice after taste;  it's odd enough that I would want to try another;

October 12, 2016

198/1783) The House On Parliament, Toronto:  Juicy Ass IPA by Flying Monkeys of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.5%, 69 ibu;  citrusy nose;  bright, yes, juicy hops with a resiny finish;

The House On Parliament is a great place in a modesty dodgy, let's call it "interesting", part of town.  I gather it gets dodgier as you head south but they are trying hard to gentrify.  The biggest laugh of the night came after dinner when a local who had had more than me pointed to a parked Brinks truck and suggested we needed a designated driver.

October 10, 2016

197/1782) Home:  Forgotten Lake Blueberry Ale by Lake of the Woods of Ontario:  **;  7.7%;  blueberry seems to be in fashion this season;  moderately strong blueberry nose;  grainy, flavours of blueberries remain muted until the finish;

October 8, 2016

195/1780) Home:  One Ping Only by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;   8.5%, 34 ibu;  a Baltic Porter, Wild Oats Series No. 56;  brewed with rye malt and oats;  for a change it is not bourbon barrel aged and it does not suffer for this;  strong nose of alcohol, roasted malt, caramel, mild fruit;  bottled on Black Ribbon Day (August 23rd);  flavours of dark roasted malt and coffee;

Another one from the Beau's Oktoberfest four-pack.  I appreciated the reference to The Hunt For Red October.

196/1781) Home:  Tankenstein IPA by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  **;  7.0%, down from 7.5% last year, still 60 ibu and brewed with Nugget and Cascade hops;  somewhat re-tooled from last year - it's not quite the aggressive hop bomb I recall which is to say it stands out less but still it is pretty good;  earthy rooty nose and dry bitter earthy flavours;

From the Mill Street Harvest mixed pack:

October 6, 2016

192/1777) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Oak Aged Drunkin Pumpkin Munich by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **1/2;  a cask take on their seasonal Munich brewed with spiced rum and oak chips;  there is a good deal of sweetness from the oak along with mild pumpkin and spice;  it works, which I was not expecting;

193/1778) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Salted Maple Munich by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  *1/2; brewed with sea salt;  this was cask B of tonight's cask challenge;  given the saturation of our populace with sodium, I continue to be puzzled at how adding salt to everything ever from chocolate to caramel to beer became fashionable;  opens salty with a pumpkin and spice finish and mild maple throughout;

194/1779) Home:  Ginger Wolf by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2;  from Beau's Oktoberfest assortment;  a 6.5% Ginger Hopfenweisse, Wild Oats series no. 67;  brewed with wheat and barley malts and ginger (all organic);   fresh ginger root nose;  the ginger is not so present in the flavours which are herbal and minerally;  very dry, bitter after taste;

This pretty accurately crystallizes my feelings about brewing with ginger:

October 3, 2016

191/1776) Home:  Ox Blood Ale by Highlander Brew Co. of Ontario:  *;  5.4%;   overwhelmingly malty and sweet;  almost like a Scotch ale but not quite there;

The label peels off to become a vinyl "soundsheet" of a Plague Vendor 45 rpm.  I cannot attest to the tune as yet but, as mentioned above, the beer is pretty ordinary.

September 27, 2016

No, as fate would have it I did not participate in the 2016 Toronto Beer Run two days ago.  I am working through an injury which does not stop me from running entirely but it is cutting down on my distances.

The course begins at the Biermarkt on Esplanade with stops at the 3 Brewers on Adelaide, the King Street Biermarkt, Steam Whistle, the 3 Brewers on Yonge Street and finally the Amsterdam Brewery - 11.3km in all.  I hope they had as many portapotties as they did for the Mississauga Marathon.

September 26, 2016

190/1775) Bar Volo:  Titania Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout by Sawdust City of Ontario:  **1/2;  10%;  nose is strong bourbon, vanilla, dry cherry, cough syrup;  flavours of dry cherries, coffee, alcohol, bourbon - wonderfully complex; the alcohol is quite forward;

This is the last Monday of the Volo and the final chance for me to take my sons here.